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Meeting discusses concern over Niskayuna drop off location

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Albany/HV: Meeting discusses concern over Niskayuna drop off location
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Some parents in Niskayuna are concerned it's too dangerous for their kids to cross two lanes of traffic when they get dropped off at school. The Board of Education met Tuesday evening to discuss what could be done about this drop off and pick up problem at Niskayuna High School. Innae Park has more.

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. -- In 15 minutes…

“It's insane. It's absolutely insane,” Sue Franze said.

Heidi Cook said, “Everyone's in such a hurry.”

…The drop off loop at Niskayuna High School becomes completely congested.

Franze said, “They're coming in off Nott Street. They're coming in off Balltown. They're cutting through the parking lot.”

Renae Semione said, “I've come a little bit later. Unfortunately, she's been late for school because I know it can be hectic and crazy here in the mornings.”

But it’s more than just the traffic troubling parents. They're worried about their kids.

“They forget about the safety of the people driving the cars and the kids getting out of it,” Cook said.

“We have a significant number of people, mostly students, but also adults, who don't use the designated crosswalks to cross roadways and that's creating a pretty dangerous situation,” said Niskayuna Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio.

Now the district's stepping in. The superintendent is proposing immediate changes to break up the backups and ensure everyone's safety.

Salvaggio said, “We haven't had any accidents, we haven't had anybody harmed. That's not why we're looking, but because we don't want that to happen.”

In the next few weeks, an adult will be outside supervising traffic. The two crosswalks will be repainted and a third one created for safer walking. More pedestrian crossing signs and markers will also be posted.

For traffic, drop offs will be split into three places. High schoolers entering from Balltown Road should turn left to the pool entrance. Middle school students here for music lessons will keep using the main drop off site. Anyone coming in from the Nott Street entrance will drop off kids at the bus loop, but all after 7:20 a.m.

The changes may be hard to get used to, but the board's asking everyone to be on board for the sake of safety.

Salvaggio said, “Safety is the number one priority in terms of looking at this issue.”

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